The NASA TechRise Winners' Announcement will be an educational celebration for all who participated and an exciting kick-off for the winning teams as they embark on the journey to develop, build, and prepare their experiment payloads for flight.
About this event
NASA's Flight Opportunities and Future Engineers are hosting a special virtual event celebrating the NASA TechRise participants from across the nation and announcing the 57 winning teams live on January 21, 2022.
Kicking off the event festivities, a NASA speaker will deliver an inspirational message followed by an interactive Q&A session, where participants will have their questions answered live on the virtual stage. The event will conclude with NASA unveiling the 57 winners plus congratulatory messages from the challenge flight providers: Raven Aerostar, UP Aerospace, and Blue Origin.
Additional speaker details will be released in January. In the meantime, mark your calendar and register to participate in this exciting opportunity to come together and honor the amazing work of every NASA TechRise participant and launch the winning teams on their exciting journey to develop, build, and prepare experiment payloads for flight.
Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate
James L. Reuter was named NASA’s associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in June 2019, a position in which he served in an acting capacity since February 2017. In this role, he provides executive leadership and management of the technology programs within STMD, with an annual investment value of $1.1 billion. Reuter was the deputy associate administrator of STMD from February 2017-February 2018. Prior to this role, Reuter served as the senior executive for technical integration in the Center Director’s Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center from 2009-2015, providing strategic leadership on critical technology and integration activities. Additionally, Reuter served as the Exploration Systems Division (ESD) Standing Review Board chair, responsible for overseeing development activities of the Space Launch System, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Ground Systems Development and Operations Programs, and the ESD integration activities.Previously, Reuter served in many managerial roles at Marshall including Ares vehicle integration manager in the Constellation program, the deputy manager of Space Shuttle Propulsion Office, and the deputy manager of Space Shuttle External Tank Project Office during the shuttle return-to-flight activities. In 2002, he was assigned to a detail at NASA Headquarters as the deputy associate director in the Space Transportation Technology Division in the Office of Aerospace Technology. From 1994 to 2001, he was the Environmental Control and Life Support System manager for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Reuter began his NASA career in 1983 as an aerospace engineer in the Structures and Propulsion Laboratory in Marshall’s Science and Engineering Directorate.Reuter has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He has received numerous NASA awards and honors, including a 2019 Distinguished Service Medal, 2016 Outstanding Leadership Medal, 2013 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, a 2008 NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, a 2002 NASA Exceptional Service Medal, a 1998 Silver Snoopy Award and a 1993 Space Station Award of Merit.
Col. (USAF, ret) Pam Melroy was sworn in as the NASA Deputy Administrator on June 21.As Deputy Administrator, Melroy performs the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the Administrator, assists the Administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the Administrator in his absence by performing all necessary functions to govern NASA operations. Melroy is also responsible for laying the agency's vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.Melroy was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1983. As a co-pilot, aircraft commander, instructor pilot, and test pilot, Melroy logged more than 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft before retiring from the Air Force in 2007. She is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Just Cause, with more than 200 combat and combat support hours.Melroy was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994. Initially assigned to astronaut support duties for launch and landing, she also worked advanced projects for the Astronaut Office. She also performed Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) duties in mission control. In addition, she served on the Columbia Reconstruction Team as the lead for the crew module and served as Deputy Project Manager for the Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Team. In her final position, she served as Branch Chief for the Orion branch of the Astronaut Office.One of only two women to command a space shuttle, Melroy logged more than 38 days (924 hours) in space. She served as pilot on two flights, STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002, and was the mission commander on STS-120 in 2007. All three of her missions were assembly missions to build the International Space Station.After serving more than two decades in the Air Force and as a NASA astronaut, Melroy took on a number of leadership roles, including at Lockheed Martin, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Nova Systems Pty, Australia, and as an advisor to the Australian Space Agency. She also served as an independent consultant and a member of the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group.Melroy holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Kris Brown serves as deputy associate administrator for the Office of STEM Engagement, providing leadership of NASA’s STEM Engagement function and its programs, devoted to creating unique opportunities for students and the public to contribute to NASA’s work in exploration and discovery, and to building a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences with NASA’s people, content and facilities. Brown began her career at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center over 25 years ago as an engineer, devoting most of her career to working on flight programs and as a leader in engineering. As a result, she brings unique perspectives as a STEM practitioner to her role, coupled with a strong commitment and passion for inspiring and engaging young people to pursue STEM education and careers.Throughout her career in engineering, Brown led endeavors devoted to advancing the state-of-the-art in practice and capabilities. She served as Head of Systems Engineering Services and Advanced Concepts. Kris led the creation of the organization, charged with delivering systems engineering services and leadership in the conceptualization of future NASA missions, and developing and infusing enabling processes, tools and capabilities. As Project Manager for NASA’s Integrated Mission Design Center, Brown led a team in creating a new collaborative design capability for spaceflight mission design, from its inception through development and operations. At the request of NASA’s Chief Engineer, Brown led the Advanced Engineering Environment program, dedicated to building NASA’s next generation of engineering capabilities and infrastructure. Earlier, she served as mission systems engineer and mechanical systems manager for several spaceflight missions. Prior to government service, Brown spent 7 years in the private sector. Brown earned a B.S. in engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a graduate of NASA’s Project Management Development Emprise program. Brown was a Fellow in the Council for Excellence in Government, where her team was honored for creating the Kids In Science and Technology (KIST) initiative, dedicated to providing hands-on learning opportunities to kids.
NASA Flight Opportunities
Lucas Moxey is part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program where he is serving in a variety of roles, including project management, acquisitions management, and helping mature space technologies by means of suborbital flight testing. His background in engineering, science (geology & remote sensing), and education have helped him contribute to the new NASA TechRise STEM initiative. In the past, he has also been part of several projects that included Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) Orion, X-57 Maxwell Experimental Aircraft, and F-15 Supersonic Research Testbed.
NASA Flight Opportunities
Danielle McCulloch serves as the program manager for NASA’s Flight Opportunities program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Flight Opportunities rapidly demonstrates promising technologies for space exploration, discovery, and the expansion of space commerce through suborbital testing with industry flight providers. In this role, she provides strategic integration between researchers, mission stakeholders, and flight providers, as well as other NASA programs, to maximize impact for technology advancement and ensure that the flight test community is actively engaged in available opportunities. During her time with NASA, Ms. McCulloch has also held positions as Deputy Program Manager for Flight Opportunities and Chief of Staff for the Small Spacecraft Technology and Flight Opportunities program portfolio. She previously held various leadership roles in the medical device and paper manufacturing industries as well as served as vice president for a small technology transfer consultancy. Ms. McCulloch has a wide breadth of technology-related experience, including technology evaluation, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, developing a research culture, innovation management, and fostering researcher and inventor diversity. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Washington University and an MBA from Dartmouth College.
Tanya Silva is an expert in Future Engineers K12 challenge administration. Prior to Future Engineers, Tanya had 14 years of experience as a Curriculum Developer and Science Director for STAR Education. Tanya has written over 500 National Standard based lessons that continue to serve over 20,000 students annually. She has a B.S. in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Evolution from UCLA. In her free time, she volunteers as a STEM Consultant and Master Gardener.
Deanne Bell is an engineer, television host, and the founder and CEO of Future Engineers, an education technology company that engages students in online contests and challenges. Future Engineers challenges have helped produce historic achievements — from manufacturing the first student-designed 3D print in space to naming NASA’s Perseverance Rover. Deanne’s television hosting credits include PBS, ESPN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, DIY Network, and CNBC’s Make Me a Millionaire Inventor.